Sunday 21 June 2015

Cavalry in Wargames

typical French army of four corps

After a lot of consideration I think I may have come up with an answer to uneven cavalry v infantry combats.

Previously the only infantry defence against cavalry in my rules was to form square.   Infantry caught in line or column were very likely to be broken and routed.   This resulted in very static games when one side had cavalry superiority.

I want to be able to introduce larger cavalry formations in my campaign.  This would probably result in more uneven wargames where one side had more cavalry than the other.   I wanted to make the cavalry less all powerful against larger bodies of infantry.

All combat in my rules are decided as one brigade against another.   The balance of cavalry to infantry within corps is one to four.   So one cavalry brigade could pin four infantry brigades in square and thus dominate the game.

I do not want to change the structure of the rules.  I want to maintain the one brigade v one brigade principle.   After some consideration  I have found a very simple solution.

When one infantry brigade is charged by one cavalry brigade the infantry will get plus one for each formed infantry brigade within supporting distance (which is 4").   A corps advancing with four infantry brigades in column of march will now be more than equal to a single cavalry brigade.   Should the cavalry charge one brigade, the infantry will count plus three for the supporting brigades.
The infantry will, of course, be very vulnerable to artillery fire.   And also to enemy infantry lines.   Both of which is as it should be.   But at least it will prevent one cavalry brigade preventing a whole corps from advancing.

The revised rule can be read by following the link below to my Napoleonic Wargame Rules and clicking on Rule 15 under Labels on the right.


  1. This seems to be a very neat and sensible solution to the problem you had with the rules 'as written'.

    I hope that it works as well in practice as it would appear that it should.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comment

    You are quite right to be cautious about how it will all work out in practice. All too often a rule amendment seems very clever at the theory phase, only to come badly unstuck once it is subjected to a little play testing!




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